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Disturbing scenes as Toulouse star Romain Ntamack stretchered off after sickening tackle and fall

By Sam Smith

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In a stark reminder of just how dangerous the game can be, Toulouse and French star Romain Ntamack was stretchered off the field after a horrific concussion in his side’s Top 14 semi-final win over Bordeaux.

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There were immediate concerns for Ntamack’s safety after a sickening fall that occurred after being knocked out during a rush tackle from centre Ulupano Seuteni.

The flyhalf collapsed with his head bowed, and then took a second head knock as he hit the ground leading to concerns about his neck. The incident halted play as match doctors rushed to Ntamack’s assistance before stretchering him off.

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The scare was tempered somewhat by Ntamack giving the crowd a thumbs up as he left the field, but the blow will rule Ntamack out indefinitely and the sight of Ntamack on the turf was a haunting look for the game trying to rule out such instances.

Toulouse head coach Ugo Mola indicated as much in the after-match press conference, saying it would be ‘difficult’ for him to line up in the final. He said that there will be other finals for Ntamack, and the club will not risk his health.

It was a much-needed response from the club official, not downplaying the severity of the incident and putting Ntamack’s health first.

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Mola spoke of the experience of Yoann Huget, who’s career was ended with an injury, as a key reason why they could not rush Ntamack back.

“It will be difficult to have Romain Ntamack on the team sheet on Friday night for the final,” said Toulouse coach Ugo Mola.

“To say that Romain Ntamack was not knocked out would be heresy. The last one who was not knocked out was unfortunately seriously injured the following week and was forced to retire from sports due to an injury: it is Yoann Huget.

“So in any case, we won’t take any risk with Romain’s health. He’s a young guy. I can understand the urge to play a final. But a 22 year old guy, with his talent and the friends he has, I have the impression that he will play others in the finals.

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“So we are not going to take any risks and it is the medical profession that will decide.”

Bordeaux were leading 15-14 when the tackle occurred, but Seutini was red carded for the incident reducing his side to 14-men for the final twenty minutes.

Toulouse fought to a 24-21 win setting up a rematch with La Rochelle for the Top 14 final, a side they beat to claim the European title last month.

Warning: The video of the tackle contains graphic content

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Disturbing scenes as Toulouse star Romain Ntamack stretchered off after sickening tackle and fall

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